Named Person Scheme Shelved

Last night MSPs agreed to shelve the 'Named Person Scheme'. 

The scheme initially sought to appoint a 'named person' to monitor the welfare of every child in Scotland. It was originally going to be rolled out across Scotland in September 2016, however there have been ongoing legal difficulties that have obstructed the process. The Supreme Court ruled that some of the proposals around information breached the right to privacy and a family life under the European Convention of Human Rights.

Opponents argued that the legislation could lead to a 'big brother' situation where parents are undermined and and privacy is breached. However many children's charities are in favour of the scheme saying it will ensure that more cases of child abuse are uncovered sooner. 

A report on Stage one of the legislation was due to be published on the 22nd of December but was last night's unanimous vote means this will now be indefinitely delayed. The Committee said it could not proceed because he had failed to provide the “critical guidance”. 

Tory shadow education secretary Liz Smith said: “It’s welcome that the SNP has formally admitted this scheme cannot proceed. But now the nationalists should do the decent thing and scrap it altogether. “The bill is a mess, and remains hugely unpopular among parents and practitioners across Scotland.” 

Despite the clamour for the scheme to be abandoned, Nicola Sturgeon has said she has not intention of doing so. At First Minister’s Questions last week she said she would push ahead with the plans because they are in the best interests of children.

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